The price of housing is a huge challenge in recruiting police officers to live in San Jose, according to the affable San Jose Chief of Police, Eddie Garcia. Speaking at the 5/14 District 1 Leadership Group, Garcia emphasized the importance of having police officers that live in and participate in the community.
One idea that might start to help in some situations is to steal an idea from the San Jose Giants. That organization has the same challenge of housing staff in this expensive locale. The Giants find host families to house players during the season . This works out great for everyone, as the young players have a host family, while the host family gets to experience life with a professional baseball player.
What if the San Jose Police Department had such a program for its police officers? That is, home owners, particularly those who are senior citizens, could open their spare bedrooms to newly hired San Jose Police Officers for some period.
- This would provide the opportunity for companionship and extra security for senior citizens who find themselves alone in homes designed for families, but now are occupied by a single resident.
- The police officers would be living in San Jose neighborhoods, interacting with residences whom they serve.
- It would provide an opportunity for new police officers to save money, so they could purchase homes and settle in San Jose.
Matching up homeowners with potential police, seems like a good project for a Code for San Jose team. San Jose residents, what do you think? If you think this is an idea that deserves further exploration, comment below or Tweet this with the hashtag #HeySam.
Of course, this idea could be extended to other city workers. Additionally, when building housing for the homeless, why not set aside some for public safety officers or other city workers?